I would like to award the prize for the Most Damage Inflicted to the Geek/Nerd World in the Past 5 Years to Michael Lopp, author of the seminal Nerd Attention Deficiency Disorder in 2003. No article more effectively romanticized an inability to do one thing at a time, and do it well. On the bright side, Digg and Bloglines should probably give him stock. Need an antidote? Spend 10 minutes collecting everything you need to work on a problem, and unplug the internet for 2 hours. You’ll finish in 30 minutes.
18 thoughts on “Nerd Attention Damage”
Have you read his book “Managing Humans” yet?
Yes, it’s what reminded me of this essay.
Spend 10 minutes collecting everything you need to work on a problem, and unplug the internet for 2 hours. You’ll finish in 30 minutes.
My wife turned off our internet @ home and let me tell you, I ACTUALLY get more work done @ home than I do @ work.
I gather all I need @ work, slap it on a USB drive and bring it home to ZERO distractions.
The point he was probably getting at is that most people cannot do more than one thing at a time, and do it well.
Many people, when “multi-tasking,” screw up so horribly it’s pathetic. Then again, most people are so distracted with email checking every ten-to-30 minutes (and wanting to read and reply to it as it comes it so “no one waits”), but they are also working on a project for the boss (something and someone else that “can’t wait), and trying to schedule a flight to that to the conference next month — but only after finding the best price possible.
I agree with the concept: If you want to accomplish a great deal of quality work faster, get away from your Internet-connected toys and you will find yourself more productive. Most people, anyway.
Good lord this describes me accurately! How do I ever get anything done at all? BTW, I have no capacity for turning off the Internet.
I’m not as nerdy as I think after all…
At least others say I know a lot, and I’m definitely socially awkward.
Unplug the internet for 2 hours? No! I won’t do it, and you can’t make me!
We are all a lost cause…as we are reading this post, which proves the point 😛
sometimes we all need an internet day-off. that’s why many geeks spend their nights online 😉
Some of us have fast processing ADD brains that are capable of doing more that one thing at a time and doing them well. Others may have slower processing brains and one thing at a time is all they can manage.
Guess the problem happens when someone that doesn’t have ADD thinks they can keep up to the fast pace of an ADD mind and still be productive.
You might want to check out this blog post I wrote a while back called The Top 10 Advantages of ADD in a High Tech Career
For an alternate view.
Hmm.. now that you mentioned it.. yea, I realized my productivity went up few weeks ago when my internet was down.
Why is this world so set on self diagnosis. I think we need a second opinion here. 😛 Great now I forgot what I was doing!!!!
I blame the Government – super fast broadband in remote areas wasn’t supposed to hinder us all…